Marijuana use may speed psychosis
February 7th, 2011
05:56 PM ET

Marijuana use may speed psychosis

Using marijuana, or cannabis, may cause psychosis to develop sooner in patients already predisposed to developing it, and in other patients the drug may even cause psychosis, according to a new study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

"This finding is an important breakthrough in our understanding of the relationship between cannabis use and psychosis," according to the study. "It raises the question of whether those substance users would still have gone on to develop psychosis a few years later."

Patients with psychosis tend to lose touch with reality and are prone to hallucinations and delusions about what is happening around them.  Psychosis is frequently reported among patients with diagnosed mental illness such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

What is schizophrenia?

According to the study led by Australian researchers, in which data from 83 studies involving more than 20,000 patients were analyzed, marijuana  users experienced psychosis about three years younger than non-users.  Users of other substances (besides pot) experienced symptoms of psychosis two years sooner. Alcohol use  had no influence on development of psychosis, according to the study.

"Reducing the use of cannabis could be one of the few ways of altering the outcome of the illness because earlier onset of schizophrenia is associated with a worse prognosis," according to the study.  "An extra two or three years of psychosis-free functioning could allow many patients to achieve the important developmental milestones of late adolescence and early adulthood that could lower the long-term disability arising from psychotic disorders."

But experts say the complexity of interaction between genes and environment, and the possibility that cannabis is, in fact, a way to self-medicate when psychotic symptoms arise are not accounted for in this study.

The marijuana-schizophrenia link

"It is distinctly possible, in fact likely, that folks who experience initial symptoms turn to cannabis in an effort to control them, then end up having a psychotic break of some sort earlier simply because they had their first symptoms earlier," said Mitch Earleywine, an associate professor of psychology at the State University of New York at Albany, who is also a marijuana policy expert. "This predicament makes it look as if cannabis preceded the psychotic symptoms when, in fact...folks with worse symptoms who are more likely to have an early break might simply be more likely to turn to cannabis."

Theories about an association between marijuana use and schizophrenia include several –sometimes interrelated - scenarios: The possibility that cannabis causes schizophrenia; that cannabis may cause people vulnerable to schizophrenia to develop symptoms; that cannabis may make schizophrenia symptoms worse; or that people with schizophrenia are more likely to use cannabis, according to the study.

Study authors suggest that this study, "lends weight to the view that cannabis use precipitates schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders," perhaps because of some confluence of genetic and environmental factors, or because using cannabis early in life may disrupt brain development.

"[This study] found that cannabis is associated with early onset of psychosis and that is most likely true but it doesn't answer the question of which way it goes," said Dr. Charles L. Raison, associate professor in the department of psychiatry at Emory University, and CNNHealth's mental health expert doctor. "Does smoking cannabis early in life make you vulnerable to getting early psychosis or is the first manifestation of psychosis to do drugs and alcohol, or is it both?"

Do you have diagnosed schizophrenia? How well are you managing it?

Raison added that other studies suggesting a causal relationship between marijuana  use and psychosis disagree with this one.

Whatever the relationship between cannabis and psychosis, experts can agree that early use of cannabis is problematic.

"No one wants to see young people get heavily involved with any psychoactive substances," said Earleywine.

soundoff (1,357 Responses)
  1. Dug

    i love how the first sentence is "marjuana can speed up psychosis for those WHO ARE ALREADY PRONE TO PSYCHOSIS" They try to use weed as a scapegoat for what's most likely chemical imbalances, or traumatic events in childhood. Junk science.

    February 7, 2011 at 20:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. broken teeth

    Having known people who suffer from severe schizophrenia , the one thing I agree is that marijuana ,lsd and shrooms will
    make someone who already is biologically predestined , will make their disease progress faster and make it worse.

    February 7, 2011 at 20:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • pegger

      Where is your evidence? Not like my evidence, I speak for myself! If a doctor can't "see" the problem, then it is a non-issue or it is mental. And BTW, it doesn't take a 4.0 to get a medical degree and most doctors are marginal out of school...Based on a U of AZ study in 2003. And they have a good med school. What about the schools that such and give you the answers to the questions? Want an MD, go to Costa Rica for a summer then come back to the states and get a grant to write trash.

      February 7, 2011 at 20:41 | Report abuse |
  3. Jose

    What surprises me the most is that those who are against the legalization and use of this sacred plant speak and act as if they are being forced to smoke it. They're so ridiculous!

    February 7, 2011 at 20:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Denizen Kate

    This study is saying "we think the chicken came before the egg, but we're not sure, and other studies have found the opposite to be true." They call this science? Where's the scientific method? There is no conclusion here about cannabis and its relationship to certain psychoses. Maybe, maybe not. Heck, why don't they just flip a coin?

    February 7, 2011 at 20:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Mary

    Oh, and like alcohol doesn't do that? Being out of a job with no prospects for one in America speeds up this process also. Let's put our research money into creating jobs and leave the pot heads alone – how about that?

    February 7, 2011 at 20:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • TrueDat

      TrueDat, mon.

      February 7, 2011 at 20:32 | Report abuse |
  6. TrueDat

    Sodium Nitrite makes you grow pinky toes out of your elbows, but nobody's banning bacon. Thank God!

    February 7, 2011 at 20:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Cheech

    That's some heavy chit....man.

    February 7, 2011 at 20:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • TrueDat


      February 7, 2011 at 20:31 | Report abuse |
  8. slipheart

    No physical evidence to indicate physical damage. Maybe if you smoke it your lungs might collect particles but it still is less dangerous then smoking tobacco products. No physical evidence from vaporizing it or eating it...duh! Look at all of the physical evidence when compared to Prozac. I suggest that those idiots that believe this garbage take...325 mg of aspirin tomorrow and follow up with 325 mg of high quality kief the day after. Then send me a "smoke signal" indicating which made you feel better. I like them both!

    February 7, 2011 at 20:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • allnatural

      It's 4:20, got a minute

      February 8, 2011 at 16:22 | Report abuse |
  9. Reefer Madness

    As soon as I get out of this locked ward, I'll prove them wrong...

    February 7, 2011 at 20:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • pegger

      LOL!! Oh Yeah! Me two, what floor you on? LOL...lets party, I'm at Langley AFB trying to find my way back to the lunch room, they have fried chicken today.

      February 7, 2011 at 20:59 | Report abuse |
  10. Jay

    So, the professional concern trolls are at it again. I guess people aren't buying their B.S. about pot causing brain damage or causing your t*sticles to shrink, so now they're saying it might cause an earlier onset of psychosis (but only for people who already have psychosis). Correlation and causation... how the f*** do they work?

    February 7, 2011 at 20:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. camyRN

    The same brainiac who demonized people who smoke pot will probably also see a pharmaceutical advertisement on TV for a psychiatric drug with numerous worrisome side effects and then go ask his doctor for the newest "miracle drug" he saw on TV.

    February 7, 2011 at 20:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Stormy

    You could say anybody that study's a Bible develops psychosis. DUH!

    February 7, 2011 at 20:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. And

    Alcohol leads to the most screwed up family abuse and general worthlessness known to man for a large portion of alcoholics.

    But ya, hate on pot – the love drug...

    February 7, 2011 at 20:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. fireybuddha

    i'm so very tired of headlines and actual news stories not really matching. it's the equivalent of the cheesy jewelry sellers in cozumel. "psst, come here, lady, i got somethin' good to show you, at a bargain." then you get inside, and there's nothing good, nor any bargains.

    maybe the author was stoned.

    February 7, 2011 at 20:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Stormy

      If they were stoned it would have been better!

      February 7, 2011 at 20:44 | Report abuse |
    • Tina

      Stormy! 'ere!

      February 8, 2011 at 00:58 | Report abuse |
  15. Aaron

    This is old news. I knew about this bogus and flawed study well over a year ago. There is not ruth to it whatsoever, period. Nothing but scare tactics used to try and counter the currnet push toward legalization.

    Only a moron would fall for this type of garbage.

    February 7, 2011 at 20:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • 7 Milli

      Very true that most of this is VERY old news among knowledgeable/educated cannabis users. Misuse can unfortunately trigger underlying mental issues. Cannabis use is not for everyone. In the same respect a clumsy person probably shouldn't attempt a backflip on a dirtbike. It amazes me the ignorance of the government/public when it comes to things considered "bad". Do your research. Learn to harvest the nuggets of truth in the propaganda both pro and con. Don't be a blind, following sheep but at the same time don't rebel just to be rebelling. Truth and logic are so hard to come by these days, sigh..............

      February 7, 2011 at 21:08 | Report abuse |
  16. Cannaqueen

    This research has nothing to do with the legal status of cannabis. If you take the time to read the article you will see it is combining 83 studies involving 20,000 people with schizophrenia. The red herring that individuals are self medicating has been debunked in studies following people from birth to their 20s and clarifying that almost always cannabis use precedes any psychotic symptoms. Dutch studies following users in real time also show people use cannabis for the same reason whether they have a psychotic illness or not and there is no evidence that they self medicate psychosis symptoms – which are shown to get worse with use. These findings are another clear reason young people should not use cannabis in adolescence – the rest of you supposed rationale grown ups can chuff away but don't pollute the air for the rest of us.

    February 7, 2011 at 20:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jay

      "The red herring that individuals are self medicating has been debunked", you say... Yet, strangely, the entire second half of the article above discusses this possibility, and does not reach that conclusion. Interesting.

      BTW, what is a "rationale" adult?

      February 7, 2011 at 21:02 | Report abuse |
    • slipheart

      Evidence? Go back to the table and read more than one side of the story! It's a great drug for entertainment and health. Try it yourself. If you don't smoke it you can find a cookie at work. I ate a cookie earlier today. Have I forgotten to wipe my butt or missed the bus or pet my dog? Nope! And to set the matter straight, if you think this is so bad, don't get on that airliner tomorrow. The pilots tend to eat more of it then smoke it. I know! ATP/AP/CFI look it up! Check out the accident reports indicating alcohol use and airplane crashes. Pilots do use pot because there is no hang-over and it relaxes them so they can get the sleep they need to be totally competent to fly you around. So lets talk about the effects of pot. That is the purpose of the article. Give me 4 beers today and a cookie tomorrow. Which flight do you want pal? I'll ride the safer one. And if you think that pilots and using THC is "not", you are so MF'n wrong. I would rather trust a copilot 12 hours after he consumes THC then after he/she has 4 beers 12 hours ago. Or you want to be safer, get on a train! Those rednecks drink lots of beer!

      February 7, 2011 at 21:20 | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      There would have been an incidence rate among the ones using alcohol too if it had been self medication. Sorry if your balloon popped, but the study was done in a pot friendly country. See, pot did have a deleterious effect on you potheads.........It made you incapable of seeing the obvious.

      February 8, 2011 at 01:20 | Report abuse |
  17. DeezNutz

    No wonder I keep hearing Jerry Garcia voice that keeps telling me to smoke. lol

    February 7, 2011 at 20:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. harvey wallbanger

    I used to smoke pot years ago. The only effect it seemed to have on me is it acted like a minor tranquilizer and greatly enhanced artistic efforts. I won numerous awards for my photography, painting, and other arts I dabbled with. The day came, 40 years ago, when I decided it was time to put it away for decades. There were no withdrawals, no long term effects as far as I can tell, and no regrets.

    The only thing I can say is drugs work on different people differently. For me codeine is a zombie pill, for my wife it acts as a stimulant. The same is going to be true for pot. For some people, it may prove to be harmful. For me, it was a gift from God.

    I know the day will come when I pick it up again.

    February 7, 2011 at 20:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Stormy

      Gave me the muncies and I did laugh a bunch, wish I had some right now instead of these damn pin pills and muscle relaxers.

      February 7, 2011 at 21:01 | Report abuse |
  19. wes

    These are the same people that knew cigarettes and alcohol could kill you but hey, we can make some money on it!

    February 7, 2011 at 20:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. froey

    thats a bummer, man.

    February 7, 2011 at 20:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Disappointed Jo

    I will never come to this website again for quality journalism. CNN is a joke. Bye!

    February 7, 2011 at 20:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lefty avenger

      CNN works for Big Pharma and the big lie. Who else is going to pay their bills if not for these neo-fascist corporate war mongers?

      February 8, 2011 at 09:50 | Report abuse |
  22. Bill

    The fact of the matter is that the most dangerous aspect of marijuana use by young people is the risk of getting caught in the legal system.

    What our judicial system does to kids in the name of protecting them is evil. As you read this some kid somewhere who never got into any trouble before is listening to a jail cell door slam shut because they got caught with some weed.

    Your tax dollars at work people.

    February 7, 2011 at 20:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. LEB

    Alcohol use may impair liver function. So why is alcohol legal and marijuana not?

    February 7, 2011 at 20:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Snookums

      This is an article about one aspect of marijuana, not alcohol, that's why.

      February 7, 2011 at 21:39 | Report abuse |
    • LEB

      That didn't answer my question.

      February 8, 2011 at 20:51 | Report abuse |
  24. EdD73

    Blatant drug war propaganda and complete BS.

    They should do a study to see if PROHIBITION causes people to believe things that are not true. To fear things that can heal them. To wish violence toward other people. To support singling out a group of people and to want to exterminate them from the face of the earth. To want to wage war for oil over growing a plant. Because these are symptoms I see in prohibitionists. They should study it. It seems like a mental disorder of some kind.

    February 7, 2011 at 20:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. EricO

    Oh I love when CNN posts these pot articles. Just hilarious how defensive the heads get. Always the same thing. If someone disagrees its a BS study. If someone says they smoked pot and had the same symptoms as described it couldn't have possibly been pot. That big mean govt is just out to get us. The comment that they can't sell it for 20 dollars is the biggest BS in this entire article because they are already selling it for far more in the states where it is legal. Personally I think it should be legalized for one reason and one reason only to tax the dirt bags on stamps that drive audi's with an iphone because they "don't have legal job". Yes I smoked pot once and yes I've seen a dealer with stamps in an audi with an Iphone.

    February 7, 2011 at 21:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • uhm...


      February 7, 2011 at 21:29 | Report abuse |
    • pegger

      ....say no more IDIOT! We drive Mercedes, black ones with black interior and black windows and chit mon! You know nothing. And many of us do have legit jobs...I have a license to sell in my state! Jealous, I have fun at my job, do you? I am helping people feel better about themselves and get through the day without throwing up when they read BS from idiots.

      February 7, 2011 at 21:31 | Report abuse |
    • LazyEye

      Chill man. Stop hating. Maybe you need to smoke some.

      April 18, 2011 at 19:05 | Report abuse |
  26. Thaddeus

    Bull-s%#@ !

    February 7, 2011 at 21:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. AmadoC

    Is psychosis what a demented person has? If that is right, then that demented person needs to stop blamming marijuana and get a life!

    February 7, 2011 at 21:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Travis

    More reefer maddness! I wont be reading any more of Mrs. Smith's work.

    February 7, 2011 at 21:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. femacampsrus

    Everything is a lie, nobody will ever be told the truth, especially when it is "truth" coming from corporate tools bought and subsidized by our own tax dollars. I trust only myself and my wife, none of any of you peoples comments matters and neither does mine. I hope that the economy completely collapses and we are all put back to square one, then the truth might become known from hard work and determined modern civilized human beings. Of all things a plant is deemed to be, "evil and harmful" hence big pharma pushes for legislation to make it illegal because they cannot control the income from everyone growing and consuming it. We deserve everything that is happening to us, because everybody is sleeping at the wheel, wake up people we are heading towards dead mans curve.

    February 7, 2011 at 21:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Really?

      Drugs are all made from "natural " materials like plants. They all have adverse effects. Lots of plants have mentally adverse effects. Is it so surprising that pot would have some too? Please don't be an ignorant dweeb going on about " big pharma " or I will call the nice young men in the clean white coats to bring you an " I love me jacket " for your paranoia. Go back to class...... and learn something useful for a change.

      February 8, 2011 at 01:10 | Report abuse |
  30. danzzz

    You didn't actually link the study you refer to. You didn't even bother to reprint the abstract. What were the control factors? How exactly did they know their test subjects would develop psychosis later? How much marijuana did the subjects smoke? and how often? Were the psychosis self reported? How did you define psychosis?

    This sounds a lot like the plot of this movie I saw once.

    February 7, 2011 at 21:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Truthisintheyeofthebeholder

    I mean really, I stop reading this article right after,"Alcohol use had no influence on development of psychosis, according to the study." please!!!!! Nice try!!!!!!!!

    February 7, 2011 at 21:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tina

      Yeah, I divorced my alcoholic ex because he wasn't "psychotic" at all when he was drunk. (rolls eyes)

      February 8, 2011 at 01:04 | Report abuse |
  32. JustAGirl

    Wow, I'm shocked *rolls eyes*. Considering a marijuana high can has an effect similar to a psychotic episode... *shakes head* I've said this for years and I've only got my BA in psych for crying out loud. Let me know next time you've got some actual NEWS, people

    February 7, 2011 at 21:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Jeff S

    Why is it every time MJ is brought up, people bring up the idea that smoking or ingesting something that is natural is somehow better for you? As if something natural would not cause you harm when smoking or ingesting.

    I'm all for people doing what they want in cases like. Want to smoke pot? Have at it. But make it sound like its harmless just because its "natural."

    February 7, 2011 at 21:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. i rock

    i like turtles

    February 7, 2011 at 21:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • slipheart

      Consuming while eating turtles and watching turtles makes me go real slow!

      February 7, 2011 at 21:41 | Report abuse |
  35. Terry Zelk

    Again with more "reefer madness" bull. After 70+ years of nonsense and propaganda, people and especially the media are stone cold stupid enough to spread such childish lies and gutter science.
    Get a grip you friggin idiots. The pharmaceutical companies are the masters of misinformation.
    If it isn't made in a lab, it just has to be evil.
    Every real life, long term study has always proved weed to be the most non-toxic substance on the face of the Earth.
    The media and the public are incredibly gullible and unbelievably STUPID.
    Grow a brain, and a backbone to go along with it.
    FYI, cigs kill a half million folks in this country every year. I don't hear you pin heads screaming about that.
    You anti pot people are government brainwashed, psycho bigot, hypocrites.

    February 7, 2011 at 21:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • pothead

      Yip! And most anti pot people are stuck to what is written in the bible. If they believe that stuff they will believe pot is dangerous.

      February 7, 2011 at 21:34 | Report abuse |
  36. Snookums

    Just what we need, potheads driving, working, caring for children, operating machines, making business decisions, performing surgeries, etc.

    February 7, 2011 at 21:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • pegger

      And with all those professionals using THC they must be the only ones that make mistakes...get a life dummy! We also fly jets!

      February 7, 2011 at 22:03 | Report abuse |
  37. alienmom

    tony,you got a good little conspiracy theory going on there.time for your meds uh weed, it'll be much clearer then.

    February 7, 2011 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Bunny

    I used to smoke pot daily and experienced a full blown psychotic episode (hallucinations, 2 days of wandering the streets thinking it was judgement day, eventually thinking I was god...even though I'm an athiest). That landed my in a psych ward for over a month, but the symptoms resolved quickly. I haven't smoked since and haven't experienced any kind of psychosis. I don't know about the predisposition argument. With no family history of psychosis, nothing revealed by brain scans, it's impossible to know if I was predisposed to this sort of thing. I dunno...I used to think that pot was totally safe until it broke my brain 🙁

    February 7, 2011 at 21:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ThisBudsForYou

      Hey Bunny.... what did the substance sprinkled on the weed look like? I've been smoking my lungs out in hopes of such a "brain break".

      February 7, 2011 at 22:31 | Report abuse |
  39. Nate

    I've known about the relationship between marijuana and psychosis for quite some time now. In all honesty, marijuana is a very weak drug used in moderation and is less addictive and dangerous on the physiological level than tobacco and alcohol. However, I've spoken to several well respected psychiatrists who all have stories regarding adverse effects from marijuana for patients who suffer from ADHD, OCD, anxiety disorders and of course the aforementioned, schizophrenia. However, these effects are not known very well as most of the professionals I have discussed the matter with claim that only 1% of Americans show signs of negative side effects after using marijuana. If you feel anti-social after using the drug, or sad or even very anxious you are most likely part of the 1% of Americans who react negatively to marijuana. Also, there is known research regarding drugs to "reverse" the psychosis effect such as Risperidone which is categorized as an anti-psychotic medicine. Hopefully more research will come to light as people are beginning to realize some of the unfortunate negative side effects of marijuana. Last, I have also heard some professionals speak about month long symptoms after using pot such as an "out of body experience" where one feels light and floating in their body and also the degradation of one's speech where vocabulary is forgotten and normal speaking becomes difficult for months after smoking.

    February 7, 2011 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Jesus' Brother

    I don't believe a word. This country is a prison and the doors will soon be opened.

    February 7, 2011 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. My2Cents

    I had my first joint when I was 13 , smoked heavily (smoking approx 1/8 oz per day) between the ages of 15-18 , quit for good for about 6 years now. During my time smoking pot , I dropped out of high school , developed slight social anxiety , and became somewhat of a "shut-in". The first 9 months or so of my pot journey, I was the life of the party, laughing hysterically when stoned, showing no negative side effects. I loved it . Then, I gradually became slightly paranoid when I smoked, but I could still handle myself. Before I knew it, I was unable to socialize when high and became unmotivated and lazy when I wasn't. I also became very depressed. My Dad told me it affected him the same way , so maybe its genetics or whatever.

    I moved to Florida in 2004 and continued smoking. I gave it up after 4-5 months. Tried it one last time and experienced the same paranoia and depression and swear it off for good. Since then , I started my own business , became engaged , and honestly I have never been happier.

    I just know that it wasn't for me and it's not for everyone , but I believe every adult has the right to make their own choice in regards to using pot or any other drug for that matter.

    February 7, 2011 at 21:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nate

      I almost died reading your post. I've had the EXACT effect with pot. It started with laughing uncontrollably for maybe a year but then moved towards social anxiety, I didn't want to smoke with people I didn't know and also didn't want to party at all after smoking. Finally, it led to complete social cut off, where I wouldn't go out, wouldn't party or hang with friends and it nearly ruined my life. I like smoking much more than drinking, especially the day after but realize that it's a negative train ride nowadays. I just wish I could return to the slaphappy self that I was when I first began

      February 7, 2011 at 21:58 | Report abuse |
    • Judson

      Maybe you should get some SUNLIGHT.

      Sunlight produces Vitamin D (*which is actually a seco steroid hormone, not a vitamin) when it hits your skin. It activates thousands of receptors in your body. Ever heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder? Yeah. It turns out you get that if you stay inside for months at a time. You will become depressive, anxious, and agitated. If you are going to smoke, smoke outside on the beach or take a vitamin D supplement (INSANELY CHEAP).

      February 8, 2011 at 04:44 | Report abuse |
  42. Terry Zelk

    Our corrupt government has no business telling us what we can do with our own bodies. You idiots out there that think we need the government to be our baby sitters are just a bunch of irresponsible, incompetent, probably brainwashed religious nut jobs. Why is it anybodies business what one does with ones own body? Should we out law everything that is dangerous? How about cars, motorcycles, skydiving, scuba diving, bungie jumping, ladders, the list can go on forever if you want to be that braindead stupid.
    Grow up and get real. If it comes from the government it is 99% B.S.

    February 7, 2011 at 21:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bobbob1

      I've seen this happen to real people. Just because marijuana use has not effected you negatively doesn't mean the findings of this research are BS. You can do whatever you want to your own body, I don't care. But when I see someone I know effected negatively ... withdrawing socially and exhibiting bizarre behavior ... then I think research like this is valid. It's not just the government trying to keep you from having fun. Grow up. If you don't feel bad about smoking pot then don't get so defensive.

      February 7, 2011 at 22:08 | Report abuse |
  43. mudbone9

    I am absolutely convinced that long term marijuana use can cause a psychosis because I was personally affected by it that way. I loved smoking pot and used it from the age of 15 till I quit on my 30th birthday. I quit because I started having trouble distinguishing between my dreams and real life. On many occasions I had talked to my friends in length about things that had never happened in real life. I was convinced that they had really happened but my friends knew better because they were part of the story. This went on for nearly a year till I realized I was either going crazy or the pot was adversely affecting me. I knew that it was pointless to visit a psychiatrist until I stopped smoking weed so I quit. The problems stopped within the first few months after quitting. I also noticed that I started dreaming during my sleep and I would wake up remembering what happened in those dreams. Until I had quit I had never noticed that I hadn’t been dreaming or at least remembered my dreams. I’ve never smoked it again since then and I am now 52. So I have to conclude that the mental side affects are reversible once you get off the drug and you are not guaranteed to come down with a permanent psychosis like the researchers suggest. In fact I went back to school 6 years after I quit and got a degree in computer science. I am not saying that everyone would have the same experience as I did because everyone’s body is different. I just wanted to share my experience with everyone in hopes that it may help somebody. I have to say that even to this day I loved to get high but I will never smoke it again. Life is to short and I don’t want to get to the end of it wondering what I did in life and where did all the time go.

    February 7, 2011 at 21:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • slipheart

      Sugar will do the same thing if you eat enough! Obvious you smoked too much! Bad habit! Alcohol is okay if not abused...red wine is good if limited. That is science! I would like to have seen your MRI while, after and after 1 yr more! You could have sold yourself as an a black ops experiment.

      February 7, 2011 at 21:51 | Report abuse |
    • mom-of-2

      Thanks, Mudbone9. My son's story is very similar. I think it affects some people this way, and thank goodness is reversible.

      February 7, 2011 at 21:55 | Report abuse |
    • mudbone9

      So Slip I take it you smoke pot. How long have you been doing it? Will it be the rest of your life? Well you may never experience what I did and I hope you don't. But you make it sound like I am lying. Yes I did smoke a lot of pot and even dealt it for years (in pounds). But I am a prime example of a person who learns from his mistakes and improves himself. Thank God I never went to prison for it.

      February 7, 2011 at 22:06 | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      Sadly, a relative developed it after a few years of teen pot smoking & is still a troubled man in his mid fifties. I am glad you are better, it cost my relative everything when it escalated to violence. Sigh.

      February 8, 2011 at 00:55 | Report abuse |
  44. bob

    If you believe this just because its a so called "scientific study " you seriously need your head checked!!!! Scientists are just people just like you and I who might have memorized more books on science. They dont know any more then my dog knows. The real ignorant people are the ones that think these scientists know how everything works!!!!!! A little common sense thinking and you will realize this. If pot use causes psychosis more than 1/2 the worlds population would be psychotic!!!!!!! Freaking EINSTEINS!!!

    February 7, 2011 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Really?

      The study said it hastens it's development bob. Better check yourself for paranoia there 😉

      February 8, 2011 at 00:46 | Report abuse |
    • GimmeABreak

      @ Really? – Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

      February 8, 2011 at 09:54 | Report abuse |
  45. Steve Duane

    i smoke weed........bi polar diagnosed........this study seems to be true to me.......thats why I quit...If I smoke weed I hardly talk and socially akward.....There is no need to put this study for people to see who have this disorder. If i were to do a study this headline might possible further psychosis. None the less psychology isn't a science.......................OR IS IT?????????????

    February 7, 2011 at 21:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. evensteven

    Fox News is causing a lot of psychosis, but so far it's not illegal . . .

    February 7, 2011 at 21:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Christina

      I totally agree....There are much worse things in this life that are legal. People are calmer and more relaxed when smoking, it helps treat various conditions, without side effects from whatever medicine a doctor would prescribe. People are less likely to be violent smoking weed, than drinking alcohol. Think about all the women who are beat by their alcoholic husbands....I do believe Alcohol is very bad for our bodies, but anything in moderation right? I just think that if smoking weed in your house, watching tv, isn't hurting anyone else. So why is there a huge problem with Marijuana? If we are true to ourselves, then we will realize it's all about money....

      February 10, 2011 at 09:53 | Report abuse |
  47. jerseydoc

    Terry – "If it isn't made in a lab, it just has to be evil." I don't think anybody's saying that, but it's pretty typical to claim people are saying that so that you can shoot it down... Instead, you're apparently of the "if it's natural, then it's gotta be good" camp. There are plenty of things that are "natural" that wouldn't be a good idea to ingest. Go eat that cow turd over there.... It's natural, it's fresh...
    Fact is, mental health providers have long since known that pot can produce psychosis. I work on an inpatient psych unit. The most common drug by far that produces psychosis in the kids that we see is pot. Not cocaine, heroin, Ecstasy, crystal meth, presciption pills, LSD, PCP, or anything else. The number of kids who are psychotic from pot is at least 5-10x more than from all of the others combined.
    All the pro-marijuana people just wanna see it legalized. They frankly could care less if other people get psychotic. The attidude is "hey, it doesn't happen to me and I want to smoke." If you go talk to some of the kids and their families who are affected then maybe you'll stop with the pot is harmless garbage. And no, I don't care how many people you know that smoked and were fine...
    And finally, no psychiatrist would ever tell you that the antipsychotics that are prescribed are benign. I have no great desire to push these meds so that pharmaceuticals make a buck. I don't see any of that money anyway. But the fact is that I prescribe those meds when they are needed to people who need them. They have plenty of side effects, but that unfortunately comes because I need the anticipated beneficial effects as well. I'm not purposely putting something dangerous into someone's body for fun, which is what all these pot proponents are advocating for right now. There's a big difference between putting an antipsychotic into a psychotic individual to treat his symptoms vs. putting a pro-psychotic agent (marijuana) into someone to get them high.

    February 7, 2011 at 21:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • slipheart

      Proof doctors are also idiots! What was your GPA doc?

      February 7, 2011 at 21:59 | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      Unfortunately, less people are interested in the truth than in getting high. I found out, if I had smoked or ingested pot during chemotherapy It could have killed me. With a T cell count of only 4, any bacteria or mold on it could have been fatal. Pot really should be processed to remove impurities before using it for medicine with immune suppressed patients. Also a clear benefit should outweigh the risk of pot being used. In the 70's pot was well known for it's " paranoia big destroyer" effects on people.

      February 8, 2011 at 00:42 | Report abuse |
  48. Snookums

    Have you idiots considered that this information is just that, information? It's for you to use to make your own decisions on whether to poison your mind and body or not. But if you do, STAY THE HEFF AWAY FROM ME, you dip***ts.

    February 7, 2011 at 21:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • pegger

      Sore Loser snookiebaby! You lose to the majority by 3 to 1. Boohooohoohoo

      February 7, 2011 at 21:56 | Report abuse |
    • Joe925

      What, is this now a "he who can be a bigger jack@$$ wins" situation? Snookums has a right to her opinion, and even if most posters disagree, so what? Say what you want, but respect other people's right to their own experience and perspective. Considering recreational pot use is illegal in the U.S., it appears that the actual majority of voting citizens – not just CNN blog commenters – agree with Snookums and Bunny. It's very hard to take seriously the opinions of anyone who feels compelled to make personal attacks on those with different points of view.

      February 7, 2011 at 22:19 | Report abuse |
  49. Larry Lupus

    Oh geez, you've done it now. The potheads will be out in droves defending their "wonder weed" from such scurrilous attacks. What's a little psychosis in exchange for being able to function in life? Pathetic losers can't get through life without being high.

    February 7, 2011 at 21:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Terry Zelk

    Snookums and bunny are a couple of good examples of the kind of idiots that the government just loves to use as examples. The same garbage they have spouted here can be said for literally hundreds of substances available to the public legally.
    Wanna guess how many people go plum crazy on things like alcohol, xanax, or religion?
    I've smoked pot for over 40 years and have never known of anybody to experience such nonsense.
    I smoke first thing in the morning, and all day long. I started my own business and retired after 18 years at the age of 54, so go tell that B.S. to someone stupid enough to believe it.

    February 7, 2011 at 21:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bunny

      Why does your personal experience trump my personal experience?
      I didn't say everyone who smokes pot is going to go crazy? Just that it happened to me. And that was after years of smoking with no hint of crazy. I still think it should be legalized, and I think there are loads of substances out there that are more dangerous, but I think we still don't know everything there is to know about the effects of pot.

      February 7, 2011 at 21:58 | Report abuse |
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